Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
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I am sorry to hear about this situation. Can you please tell me:
1) When did the father pass away?
2) Did anyone file for probate for the father's estate?
This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Thank you. What the son wants to do then, is to file for formal probate. When someone passes away, then their estate has to be distributed. The problem is that without probate - with assets such as titled property or bank accounts (those that do not have a pay on death clause) - this is hard to do. This is because you cannot switch over the assets without an order from the probate court, and simply a Certificate of Death will not do. A Certificate of Death simply states that someone has passed on, but does not give you the right to really do anything in the deceased's name.
However, probate can also be used to establish whether or not there was a Will, and generally get relief for the situation. If the Court believes that there was a Will (and perhaps if another copy is found), then the Court may order the women return the assets. They can also be held in contempt and/or sanctioned, which would likely result in fines, but it would be unlikely that they would face jail (this would remain a civil matter).
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This is very helpful. However, keep in mind that just because she states that the Will was destroyed does not establish who got what under that will. So if another copy exists, that would be even better.
No - the party can be made to sign the deed to the rightful owner if the Court determines that someone else should have received it under laws of succession, if the neighbor knew or should have known that something was not right. OR, the mother may be sued for the value. It really all depends on what happened when and certain nuances.
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No, she still can be. She can be the beneficiary if she is written into the will even if she was there at the execution, if this is what you mean. But if she is not written in, then she would not be. That is, assuming another copy can be found or she can admit what the old will said in court.
As a surviving spouse, she can still try to claim a part of the property - see HERE. But she can also be sanctioned by the Court, sued for fraud, etc, and that will reduce the overall assets she ends up holding.
Then the son wants to file for probate ASAP. The longer he waits, the less likely the chance that he would be able to prove his case.
Some counties allow filing online, but some do not. It depends on your county. However, an attorney is recommended. Probate is complicated. So if this is what you mean by a representative, then yes, a representative can and should file for him.